Lauric acid is used for treating viral infections including influenza (the flu); swine flu; avian flu; the common cold; fever blisters, cold sores, and genital herpes caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV); genital warts caused by human papillomavirus (HPV); and HIV/AIDS. It is also used for preventing the transmission of HIV from mothers to children.
Other uses for lauric acid include treatment of bronchitis, gonorrhea, yeast infections, chlamydia, intestinal infections caused by a parasite called Giardia lamblia, and ringworm.
In foods, lauric acid is used as a vegetable shortening.
In manufacturing, lauric acid is used to make soap and shampoo.
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